POINT LEAGUE, 1960
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 9 November 1960
Decommissioned: 16 May 1969
Disposition: Transferred to South Vietnam as Le Phuoc Duc on 16 May 1969
Length: 82’10” oa, 78’ bp
Navigation Draft: 5’11” max (1960)
Beam: 17’7” max
Displacement: 69 fl; 60 light (1960)
Main Engines: 2 Cummins diesel (see class history)
Performance, Maximum Sustained: 14.5 kts, 577-mi radius (1,200 hp, 1960)
Performance, Economic: 10.7 kts, 1,271-mi radius (1,200 hp, 1960)
Maximum Speed: 16.8 kts (1960)
Fuel Capacity: 1,840 gal
Complement: 8 men (1960), 2 officers, 8 men (1965)
Radar: SPN-11, CR-103 (1960), or SPS-64
Armament: 1 x 20mm (1960), 5 x .50 cal mg, 1 x 81 mm mortar (Vietnam service)
Class history—The 82-foot patrol boats have mild steel hulls and aluminum superstructures. Longitudinally framed construction was used to save weight.
These boats were completed with a variety of power plants. 82301 through 82313, 82315 through 82317, and 82319 through 82331 were powered by two Cummins 600-hp diesels. Boats 82318 and 82332 through 82379 received two Cummins 800-hp diesels. The 82314 was fitted with two 1,000-hp gas turbines and controllable-pitch propellers. The purpose of this installation was to permit the service to evaluate the propulsion equipment. All units were eventually fitted with the 800-hp diesels. Units remaining in 1990 were re-equipped with Caterpillar diesels.
WPB 82301 through 82344 were commissioned without names; at that time the Coast Guard did not name patrol craft shorter than 100 feet. In January 1964 they were assigned names.
The Point League was stationed at Morgan City, Louisiana, from 1961 to 1965. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations.
She was assigned to CG Squadron One, Division 13, Vietnam, from February 1966 to May 1969. On 20 June 1966, while under the command of LTJG Stephen T. Ulmer, she was underway on a Market Time patrol near the mouth of the Co Chien River. She picked up a target on radar heading directly west towards shore. She closed to investigate and challenge. After the target was spotted visually and identified as a steel-hulled coastal cargo vessel of about 100-feet in length running without lights and towing a junk, she was challenged and refused to respond. When the cutter illuminated the trawler with her searchlight, the trawler stopped. After cutting loose the junk, the trawler then got underway for the shore. The cutter's crew fired two .50 caliber bursts across the trawler's bow and the trawler returned fire at the cutter, wounding two of her crew.
The cutter pursued and a running firefight ensued. Nearing shoal water, the cutter stopped the pursuit about 1,000 yards off shore as the trawler went aground perpendicular to the beach. Point League illuminated the area with her 81mm mortar and kept up a steady stream of machine gun fire into the trawler. The Point Slocum arrived in support and Point League rendezvoused with the Point Hudson to take on more ammunition. As the Point Slocum approached the grounded trawler, she took fire from the beach. Air units in the area requested that the Point Slocum make parallel runs to the beach to draw enemy fire and she complied. After repeated air strikes on the trawler and the shoreline, the enemy's return fire diminished. Soon after dawn the trawler exploded, probably from an scuttling charge set by her crew.
The cutters then approached the now burning trawler but took enemy fire from the beach line. Air strikes were again called in and the Point Hudson and two coastal group command junks arrived in the area. Firefighting teams were dispatched to the trawler and the cutters laid close alongside the burning ship to assist in fighting the fire, which was eventually put under control. The cutters then attempted to tow the smoking hulk off the beach but with the tide falling they were unsuccessful.
The Point League was decommissioned on 16 May 1969 and was then transferred to South Vietnam as Le Phuoc Duc. Her ultimate fate remains unknown.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Alex Larzelere. The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.
Paul C. Scotti. Coast Guard Action in Vietnam: Stories of Those Who Served. Central Point, OR: Hellgate Press, 2000.